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News of a positive COVID-19 test by an aged care worker in Laidley in South East Queensland highlights the risks aged care workers are facing every day they go to work, United Workers Union’s aged care director Carolyn Smith said today.

“Our thoughts are with the residents, families and workers of the affected facility after this terrible news today,” Ms Smith said.

“We have seen how devastating coronavirus can be inside aged care.

“What we need to see now from the Queensland and Federal Governments is that lessons have been learned from the aged care disasters in NSW and Victoria.”

Ms Smith said these lessons include:

  • Availability and use of adequate personal protective equipment.
  • Provision of specialist infection control teams.
  • Consideration of speedy removal to hospital of any resident affected by coronavirus.
  • Provision of a trained and adequate alternative workforce if workers are forced to quarantine.

“We will be seeking urgent meetings with the Queensland Government emphasising that no effort should be spared in protecting workers and residents from the effects of this deadly virus,” Ms Smith said.

“What Victoria showed us was there was no national plan to protect aged care workers or residents in the face of coronavirus – we need to see swift action to assure us lessons have been learned.

“We are contacting affected workers to make sure their concerns are given the attention and respect they deserve.”